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Google says it will destroy Wifi data collected with Street View cars  (View post)

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

Saturday, May 15, 2010
7 years ago7,156 views

Source:
finance.yahoo.com/news/Google- ...

Now Google acknowledges the data collection, says We are sorry and will delete the data, about 600 gigabytes (!) from more than 30 countries.

The collection was covered in Blogoscoped article
blogoscoped.com/archive/2010-0 ...

Above 1 comments were made in the forum before this was blogged,

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I can understand you can "grab" some packets, but how the fuck can you *store* them without notice it?

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

BTW, 600 Gb is nothing when you know that a single Google Street View car take more than 2 Tb of pictures every 2 or 3 days...

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

The Yahoo link dosen't seem to be working.
Google's Post: googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/0 ...

How could they go for 3 years without noticing this? They must go through the information about Wifi, so surely someone would have noticed this?

"next week we will start offering an encrypted version of Google Search"
Wait, what‽‽‽

ianf [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

I'm curious what they were harvesting – accidentally, "accidentally," or otherwise. Let me guess – alongside geo data the Street View cars collected WiFi singal strengths; cross-coordinated network names; and their open/ secure network status. Those seem to me above-board activities, so what else were they hamstering for a rainy day... individual MAC addresses perhaps, or that and sequences of content packets themselves?

yano [PersonRank 1]

7 years ago #

It's not illegal, and I'm not sure it's even wrong to collect publicly available data. The really big news as far as i'm concerned is: "next week we will start offering an encrypted version of Google Search"

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

HTTPS for a search engine is the worst news ever for webmasters. Yes, because they will not be able to track the keywords used in Google queries anymore, as no referer is sent through secure protocols.

ianf [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

May not be illegal (but, given vast number of localities it's been conducted in, who really can say with any certainty?), but it is morally dubious for such a vast corporation as Google to be collecting data without clear purpose and publicly-disclosed safeguards as to their use and eventual disposal. Timed MAC addresses that are geo-coordinated to IP entry points are all any law enforcement agency ever needs to "eliminate anyone from the investigation" even before that someone has being asked to "help the police with their enquiries."

In light of that I am actually quite surprised that Google hasn't seen this coming and made damn sure it never holds any potentially-"subpoenable" material on individuals whose whereabouts it never set out to track. Not a lawyer myself [though saw many such being played on TV], I can't say for sure if deleting those "superfluous" data now wouldn't constitute a federal offense acc. to US law [="knowingly destroying the evidence"?].

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> I can understand you can "grab" some packets, but how
> the fuck can you *store* them without notice it?

I guess what happened here is this:

The camera cars collected a whole bunch of data. The engineers wrote a program to flter the data to get what they were intending to collect. The excess (unwanted) data remained in the original raw datafiles. The engineers probably never looked at those.

Nevertheless, you usually want to keep your original data (so that you can re-run your filters if you discover that you made an error), so the original raw datafiles would have been retained.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

From Google's blog post:
> We want to delete this data as soon as possible, and are
> currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries
> about how to quickly dispose of it.

Ironically, the more regulation there is, the slower it is for desirable things to happen.

Google (and everyone else) knows that data can be "disposed of" as quickly as you like if you don't need to "reach out to regulators".

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

> Maintaining people’s trust is crucial ... So we will be:
> * Asking a third party to review the software at issue..., and
> * Internally reviewing our procedures to ensure that our controls
> are sufficiently robust to address these kinds of problems in
> the future.

Do you see how this is not quite enough to ensure that they "maintain people's trust"?

What they *could* have said is this:

>> Maintaining people's trust is critical ... So we will be:
>> * Asking a third party to review the software at issue..., and
>> * Asking a third party to check, on an ongoing basis, that we
>> are correctly disclosing what data we are collecting

That would be a much stronger trust-building action.

Chris Schulz [PersonRank 0]

7 years ago #

i love street view, i love latitude, i am not a criminal, i have nothing to hide... and lastlt *i* put that data out on the street!!!

go google.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mrrix32: For some reason the link doesn't work any more.

Let's try
google.com/hostednews/ap/artic ...

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

[put at-character here]Juha-Matti
in few weeks your link will not work anymore too :-/

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

The next move:

prnewswire.com/news-releases/c ...

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

Quoting the article:

"Consumer Watchdog today called on the Federal Trade Commission to launch an immediate probe of Google's snooping on private WiFi networks as the Internet giant sent its Street View cars to gather information.

The flagrant intrusion into consumers' privacy only came to light because of tough questions from European regulators. Late last Friday the company acknowledged gathering "payload data" from WiFi networks. Less than a month ago Google had denied accumulating the information. Google engineers attributed the discrepancy to a "mistake."
...."

[put at-character here]TOMHTML: You are so right :)

Stephan Locher [PersonRank 9]

7 years ago #

+ Show PDF



Is this proof really worth anything? What if there are any other copies of the data or if the piece of code isn't removed correctly from the collection engine?

Regarding the collection of the data: Instead of making google the bad boy the privacy organizations would better educate the people how to protect their data. Who knows if there isn't anyone else collecting the data? Maybe some Browser Addon or an app for a WiFi and GPS-Enabled phone?

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

7 years ago #

To securely destroy data (according to the ISEC PDF posted by Stefan):

1. Take a hard drive that has been in secure storage.
2. Copy the data to another hard drive.
3. Use physical violence to destroy the original hard drive.

This is pathetic. It's nothing more than theatre.

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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